WW2 Book of Remembrance - Surnames L

Index

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[Content]

LAMBERT, Vincent Arthur (Revised 03/09/2018)
LARKAM, Jack Ernest (Revised 03/09/2018)
LARSEN, Harald * (Revised 03/09/2018)
LARTER, Thomas * (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEE, Aubrey Carlton (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEE, William John (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEGERTON, Maud Constance * (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEGGETT, Francis Seymour Joseph (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEVERINGTON, Ernest (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEVERINGTON, Muriel (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEWIN, Walter William (New May 2016)
LEWIS, Cyril (Revised 03/09/2018)
LEWIS, Richard Granville (Revised 03/09/2018)
LINCK, Frederick William Patrick J (Revised 03/09/2018)
LLOYD-SMITH, Vivian Bernard (Revised 03/09/2018)
LOOP, David Halstead (Revised 05/09/2018)
LOVELESS, Leslie Charles (Revised 05/09/2018)
LOVELL, Stuart James (Revised 05/09/2018)
LOVELOCK, Henry James * (Revised 05/09/2018)
LOWE, Bertram Harrington (Revised 05/09/2018)
LOWER, Vivian (Revised 05/09/2018)
LUDBROOK, William Frederick (Revised 05/09/2018

* = Not included in the Book of Remembrance for reasons unknown.
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:



Content


LAMBERT, Vincent Arthur. Serjeant (1634643)

4 Garrison Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died 8 October 1945, aged 32

Vincent was born on 26 September 1911, the only child of Arthur Ernest Lambert and Emily Beatrice (née Edmonds). Their Q2 1909 marriage was registered in Emily's home Wandsworth District, but they set up home in the mid-Surrey area from which Arthur came. The 1911 Census, taken a few months before Vincent's birth, records the couple living at "Ensor", Brambletye Park, Earlswood. Arthur, aged 31 (although some records have his birth in 1877, which would make him 34), is listed as an "Accountant, General". The pregnant Emily (in this record "Emmaley") was aged 26.

Vincent's Q3 1911 birth was presumably at "Ensor" (it was registered in the local Reigate District) - and it was also at "Ensor that his father, Arthur, died on 9 May 1916 while still in his thirties.

In Q4 1926, the widowed Emily (by now aged 41) remarried. Her new husband was 30 year old John Frank Hayden. As for her first marriage, this was registered in the Wandsworth District. The September 1939 Register records the family of three living at 24 Portway Crescent, Ewell. The 43 year old John is listed as "Forman Cleaning Service"; 54 year old Emily with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties"; and the unmarried 28 year old Vincent as an "Insurance Clerk". In the following year, 1940, Vincent signed up for the Royal Artillery.

Emily died on 12 December 1943 and, at some point, the widowed John moved away from the district. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records list him, as Vincent's stepfather, being "of Hendon, Middlesex."

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no details of Vincent's WW2 service in the 4 Garrison Regiment other than that his duty location was "Home".

His death on 8 October 1945 came several months after the cessation of hostilities. Casualty List No 1971 records that he "Died", implying that this was from illness or disease rather than the result of wounds or an accident. The death was registered in Christchurch, Hampshire, and the July 1946 Probate records list his home address at the time of death as 44 Kings Avenue, Christchurch. (Administration of his £ 3,475 estate was awarded to "Russell Asquith Wooding solicitor".)

Vincent was cremated and his ashes interred at the Bournemouth Crematorium, where his name is one of the 32 commemorated on the Armed Forces' WW2 memorial there.

The WW2 casualties cremation memorial in Bournemouth North Cemetery
The WW2 casualties cremation memorial in Bournemouth North Cemetery
Photograph with thanks to C E Moreton via warmemorialsonline.org.uk

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARKAM, Jack Ernest. Private (S/6093509)

Royal Army Service Corps
Died 21 February 1942, aged 23

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Jack was born in Q1 1918, the third of five children born to Arthur Cecil Larkam and Maud Violet (née Scott) The parents' Q2 1910 marriage had been registered in the Islington District of London. The couple - in their early 20s - were recorded in the 1911 Census at 3/269 Oxford Road, Reading, with Arthur listed as a Newsagent operating from that address.

The births of their first two children (William in Q4 1913 and Phyllis in Q4 1915) were registered in the Reading District. The family seem then to have moved to Croydon where the births of Jack (Q1 1918), Jessie (Q3 1919) and, finally, Doris (Q4 1914) were all registered.

In Q3 1940, the 22 year old Jack married 24 year old Iris Lilian Dickson. (While Jack is not found in the September 1939 Register - perhaps because he was already in uniform - Iris is recorded as the oldest of five children living with their parents, William - a "Tool Room Superintendent" - and Lilian Dickson, living at 17 Rutland Drive, Morden.) Jack and Iris's marriage was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern District. No record has been found of the couple having any children. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that the widowed Iris was "of Ewell, Surrey", but that address has yet to be established. (In Q4 1949 and registered in Barnstaple, Devon, Iris got remarried - to Percival H Jones.)

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no details of Jack's WW2 service in the Royal Army Service Corps other than that his duty location was the "Middle East". Casualty List No. 794 notes that Jack "Died", implying that this was the result of illness or disease that was all too common in the area's harsh conditions.

He was first buried at Sidi Barrani on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. He and others there were subsequently concentrated to Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery (further west on the Egyptian coast, very close to the border with Libya) which now holds 1,812 Commonwealth WW2 casualties. The widowed Lilian took the opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave 7.F.10,
"Too far away thy grave to see but ever are my thoughts of thee".
The entrance to the Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery in 2013, with caretaker and family.
The entrance to the Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery in 2013, with caretaker and family.
Photograph by Peter Leggo via findagrave.com

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARSEN, Harald

Merchant Navy
Died 23 September 1940, aged 22

Harald Larsen
Harald Larsen
Image with thanks to the Stavern Memorial

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Presumably because Harald was not killed at sea, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission - while recognising him as a Merchant Navy seaman (and anglicising his Christian name to "Harold") - lists him as a Civilian casualty.

Harald - a Norwegian subject - was the son of Otto and Agnes Larsen, of Langenes, Vesteraalen, Norway. His ship was the 2,600 ton DS Ravnefjell (in English, the SS Raven Mountains). After the German occupation of Norway, the ship appears to have been operating out of the Surrey Docks at Rotherhithe, and Harald was lodging at nearby 4 Drummond Road.

On 22 September 1940, a couple of weeks into the London Blitz, Harald was on his way from the Surrey Docks to the Norwegian Church and Seamen's Mission at St Olav's - about halfway between the Docks and his lodgings - when he was injured. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime injuries - but died there the following day.

Harald is one of 30 Norwegian WW2 casualties buried in Section E of the Greenwich Cemetery, although he is not listed as such in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's database. He is also commemorated in the Sailors' Memorial Hall in Stavern in the south of Norway, the country's national memorial for Norwegian merchant sailors who lost their lives during the two world wars.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARTER, Thomas.

Civilian
Died 7 November 1940, aged 73

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Thomas was born in Hoxton on 17 January 1867. In Q4 1888, he married Gertrude Claxton, registered in the Southwark St Saviour District. The 1911 Census records the couple - now with six children ranging from 2 to 18 - living at 193 Mayall Road that runs from Brixton to Herne Hill. 44 year old Thomas (and his 18 year old son, William) are each listed as "Carman (Biscuit)" - in modern parlance, a van driver or delivery man.

It seems likely that their work was at Williamson's Ltd "Bonanza" store - a high class grocers at 2 Electric Avenue, Brixton, at the junction with Brixton Road. (The store is long-closed but the building remains, although its imposing façade is now partly concealed by post-war development on Brixton Road.)

The September 1939 Register records Thomas, Gertrude and youngest son John (still single) - aged, respectively, 72, 69 and 30 - living a few doors down Mayall Road, at No 198. Thomas is listed as a "Shop Porter", Gertrude with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties" and John as a "Coal Porter & Carman".

It was at Williamson's Ltd in Brixton that Thomas was injured by enemy action on Thursday 3 October 1940. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime injuries. He died there just over a month later, on 7 November.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEE, Aubrey Carlton. Flying Officer (127096)

37 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 10 August 1943, aged 29

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Aubrey was born on 7 September 1913, apparently the only child of Carlton Lee and Ethel Marion (née Adcock). The parents' Q3 1912 marriage was registered in the Grantham District of Lincolnshire, but they set up home in 64 Albany Street, Hull: Aubrey's 1913 birth was registered in the Sculcoates District.

Aubrey's father, Carlton, is worth a digression. He had been born in Grantham on 14 October 1879, the eldest of ten children of William and Mary Lee and was educated at Gray's School in the town. After his marriage to Ethel Adcock. They moved to Hull where Carlton worked as a Draper. When his WW1 call-up papers came, he was made to enlist on 26 August 1916 as Private 27076 in the East Yorkshire Regiment, and arrived in France just before Christmas of that year. Carlton lost his life in front of Soyer Farm on 6 September 1918. He was aged 38. His Commanding Officer wrote of him: -
"He was killed by an enemy sniper while carrying a badly wounded man to the rear….Believe me, we will all miss him terribly here. He was a good soldier and a pal to us all."
Carlton's body was lost, and his name is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, the Kingston upon Hull War Memorial and in St.Wulfram's Church, Grantham, Lincolnshire.

It appears that Aubrey was brought up by his widowed mother and two maiden aunts, Annie Johnstone Adcock & Grace Winifred Adcock (who, in 1939, were living at 25 The Glade Woodford Wells, Essex). Aubrey attended Cambridge University, where he was listed in the Medical and Dental Students Register for 1932, and gained his BA. However, the September 1939 Register records him as a Latin master at Cranleigh School, Guildford.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that Aubrey was the "husband of Frances Elizabeth Lee, of Epsom Downs, Surrey". While it has not so far been possible to trace the marriage, the October 1943 Probate record of administration of Aubrey's £ 15,521 estate being awarded to the "Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Co Ltd" notes his address as 14 Christchurch Gardens, Epsom. Frances E Lee was resident at that address from 1945 to 1948, with Elizabeth W Baillie - presumed to be her Mother, and later in 76 Downs Wood, Banstead.

Aubrey enlisted with the Royal Air Force during August 1940, at Euston. On 17 July 1942, he was commissioned Pilot Officer from the rank of Leading Aircraftman before promotion to Flying Officer, 17 January 1943. He became assigned to 37 (Bomber) Squadron which, from 30 May to 15 November 1943, was based at Kairouan/Temmar in Tunisia equipped with Vickers Wellingtons.

On 10 August 1943, Aubrey was the pilot of Wellington HE758 which was lost in unknown circumstances. The crew "missing believed killed in action" were:
Fg Off LEE, Aubrey Carlton 127096, RAFVR,
Sgt LEE, Walter James 1396166, RAFVR,
Sgt POWNALL, Richard Bentley 1162051, RAFVR
Sgt SHONE, John Robert 1320718 RAFVR.
They are all commemorated on the Alamein Memorial (which stands at the entrance of the El Alamein War Cemetery) as four of the 11,869 Commonwealth WW2 servicemen who died in the Western Desert campaigns and who have no known grave.

The cloistered memorial at the entrance to the El Alamein War Cemetery
The cloistered memorial at the entrance to the El Alamein War Cemetery
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Brian Bouchard & Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEE, William John. Corporal (6468751)

1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Died 15 August 1944, aged 26

The Borough's Book of Remembrance has the following entry for William Lee of the "Royal Fusiliers".

Borough's Book of Remembrance Extract
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

While the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's WW2 casualties database lists 37 servicemen the surname Lee and William as one of their Christian names, none was in the Royal Fusiliers. The only one of the 37 with a connection to the Borough is this William John Lee of the Gordon Highlanders. As he is not in the Book of Remembrance, it would seem that some transcription error along the way muddled the Regiment.

William was born Q3 1917, the second of five children born to George Edwin Lee and Maud (née Bellhouse). Their Q3 1914 marriage was registered in the Lambeth District, as were the births of all but one of their children - the first in Q1 1916 and the last in Q1 1923. The exception was William's Q3 1917 birth which was registered in Willesden.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's WW2 database notes that William was the "husband of Iris Betty Lee, of Worcester Park, Surrey". It seems the Commission has her Christian names reversed: other records show that, in Q4 1939, William married Betty I Wright. (She perhaps favoured her second name.) Their son Terrence - mentioned on his father's headstone as "Terry" - was born Q2 1943. While the indicated Worcester Park address has yet to be established, it is the case that the couple's marriage and their son's birth were registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.

The readily available records provide disappointingly little information about William's WW2 service in the 1st Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. It is unlikely that he was with them in the earliest stages of the war when, during the fighting retreat to Dunkirk, the 51st Division of which they were part was trapped and forced to surrender at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, with very few men escaping capture.

The Battalion was reformed and saw service throughout the rest of the WW2 - in North Africa (at El Alamein and in Tunisia, in Sicily and then in back in Europe for the Normandy landings and, eventually, on into Germany. The Battalion landed at Arromanches on D-Day+1 (7 June 1944). While the Allies' initial landings were an unqualified success, the break out from the firmly secured base proved much harder than anticipated because of the difficulty in capturing the German stronghold of Caen a few miles inland.

Caen finally fell in early August and, by the middle of the month, the Battalion was part of the Allied forces fighting eastwards along the north French coast. On 15 August 1944, William was killed in action (Casualty List No 1542) in the area of St Sylvain - between Le Havre and Dieppe.

He was originally buried at St Sylvain but was later concentrated to the Ranville War Cemetery (about 6 miles northeast of Caen) being one of 2,236 Commonwealth WW2 burials there. His widow took the opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave IX.F.5,
"In fondest memory of my dear husband always in our thoughts. Iris and Terry."
The Ranville War Cemetery
The Ranville War Cemetery
Photograph by "Woose" via findagrave.com

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEGERTON, Maud Constance

Civilian
Died 8 August 1944, aged 21

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Maud was born on 26 August 1922, the first child of Claud Saxby Legerton and Maud Edith (née Thynne - they had married Q1 1921, registered in the Camberwell District). Young Maud's birth was registered in the Lambeth District. The Q2 1929 birth of the couple's second child, Patricia, was registered in the Lewisham District.

Claud Saxby Legerton, who had been a 2nd Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps during WW1, was a schoolteacher. The September 1939 Register finds this 48 year old "Schoolmaster" and his 44 year old wife (listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") living at 40 Walpole Road, Brighton. The couple were staying or lodging with writers Baroness Marie Anna Sophie Margrete von Seydewitz and her more famous protégé Winifred Jakobsson (who, under the pen name Winifred Norling, was a prolific author of children's books.) The same Register records 17 year old daughter Maud completing her secondary education as a boarder at Christ's Hospital School in Hertford. (This girls' section closed in 1985 and pupils transferred to the boys' site at Horsham, which became co-educational.)

Maud junior attended St Hugh's College, Oxford, from 1940 to 1943 and gained a BA degree. By 1944, the family were living at 129 Como Road, Forest Hill, London. On 28 July 1944, enemy action of some sort at that address killed Claud instantly and injured Maud junior. She was taken to the Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for handling wartime casualties - but died there ten days later, on 8 August 1944.

Maud junior and her father are both buried in Lewisham's Hither Green Cemetery. If Maud senior was injured, she survived - being, in due course, awarded administration of her late husband's £ 1,957 estate.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEGGETT, Francis Seymour Joseph

Civilian
Died 16 August 1940, aged 52

Francis Seymour Joseph Leggett was born in Suffolk on 6 February 1888, the fourth child of Robert and Alice Leggett. The 1891 Census records the parents (in their early 30s and Robert as a "Carpenter & Joiner") living in Rectory Road Middleton, Blything, Suffolk with their four children. By the time of the 1901 Census, the family (now with two more children) had moved to Epsom and were living at "Shanklin", 60 Miles Road.

In Q2 1916, Francis married Alice Louise Parker, registered in the Epsom District. Alice had been born in Cheam on 23 May 1885. She came to Epsom to work as a servant in the home of Stationer & Printer Henry Mayson Dorling at "The Birches" in Downs Road.

There is no record of the couple having any children. The September 1939 Register records them living at 107 Chessington Road, West Ewell. 51 year old Francis (now styling himself "Seymour", his second name) is listed as a "House Painter" and 54 year old Alice with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

On 16 August 1940 (about a month into the "Battle of Britain"), Francis/Seymour was in Kingston Road, Merton when he was killed by some enemy action. He was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Plot F322) on 21 August 1940.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEVERINGTON, Ernest. Stoker 1st Class (C/KX 99533)

HMS Wakeful, Royal Navy
Died 29 May 1940, aged 37

Ernest was born on 29 March 1903, the fifth of the six children (all boys - and all baptised in Christ Church Epsom Common) born to Martin Leverington and Sarah Elizabeth (née Potter). Martin had been born and raised on Epsom Common, initially following in his father's footsteps as an "Agricultural Labourer". Sarah was from Merrow, near Guildford. The couple married in Epsom on 19 January 1895.

They set up home in 2 Barton Cottages, Wheelers Lane where they were recorded in the 1901 Census. 30 year old Martin is now listed as a "Navvy". As usual, no occupation is listed for 28 year old housewife Sarah, who was busy with their first four children - from new-born Charles to 6 year old Martin.

Martin died in 1909, aged only 39. The 1911 Census records the widowed 38 year old Sarah (now working as a "Laundress") still at 2 Barton Cottages. The two oldest boys had now left home but two more had been born - Ernest (as noted above, in 1903) and Lawrence in 1906. All these four boys were at school. In Q2 1911 and registered in Epsom, Sarah got remarried to Albert E Martin, four years her junior. She had two more children with him: Violet (a girl at last!) in Q4 1911 and Albert E (after his father). The 1939 Register records this couple living at 97 Tonstall Road, Epsom. 51 year old Albert is listed as a "Builders Labourer" and 56 year old Sarah with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". Still living at home were their own children - 28 year old Violet, a "Ward Sister SRN" and 24 year old Albert, a "Clerk, Timber & Builders merchants" - and 33 year old Lawrence (a "Landscape Gardener") from Sarah's first marriage.

As to Ernest, the main subject of this article, it seems that he was a career sailor, and it may be that it was on his travels that he met northerner Muriel Clegg. They married in Huddersfield in Q4 1932: Ernest was 29 and Muriel was just 19. They set up home at 15 The Crescent, Epsom. However, the September 1939 Register records Muriel living there alone (there is no record of the couple having any children) and listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

Ernest is not found in the Register and is likely to have been at sea serving as a Leading Stoker on HMS Wakeful, a 1,100 destroyer built and brought into service with the Grand Fleet during WW1. She was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918 and then went into reserve. In August 1939, HMS Wakeful was reactivated and, at the outbreak of war, was assigned to convoy escort duty with the 17th Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Western Approaches Command. She was then selected to support the 26 May to 4 June 1940 Operation Dymano, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk.

HMS Wakeful
HMS Wakeful
Image source Wikimedia Commons.

The BEF had been sent to France and Belgium in the early days of WW2 to help resist the expected German invasion. As is well known, the invasion when it came was of unanticipated ferocity. The bulk of the BEF, with continental allies, made a fighting retreat to Dunkirk. In what became known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk", a hastily convened collection of civilian "little ships" and Royal Navy ships were able to evacuate over a third of a million soldiers to the UK. (The profile of the Dunkirk evacuation means that little is now commonly known about other operations to rescue the significant number of troops and others who could not get to Dunkirk and made their way west. Operation Cycle was the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre, at the mouth of the Seine, from 10 to 13 June 1940. Further west, the 15 to 25 June Operation Ariel saw the evacuation of Allied forces and civilians from a number of France's Atlantic ports, particularly from St Nazaire and Nantes on the Loire.)

HMS Wakeful first arrived off Dunkirk on 27 May 1940 and took on 631 Allied troops. While returning them to Dover, she came under air attack and suffered minor damage below the waterline. Despite that near miss, the ship returned to Dunkirk to continue the evacuation and, on 28 May 1940, took on a further 640 Allied troops. While doing so, HMS Wakeful was struck by two torpedoes from the German E-Boat S-30, one of which hit the forward boiler room.

Casualties were very heavy: only 26 survived the resulting explosion and its aftermath. Ernest Leverington was among the 724 killed - as was fellow parishioner Charles Easton.The wreck is a designated War Grave, lying at a depth of some 25 metres (80 ft) in busy waters along the approaches to Zeebrugge harbour.

As one who has no known grave, Ernest is commemorated among the 10,098 WW2 sailors on the extension of Chatham Naval Memorial. This was constructed around the WW1 memorial - designed as an obelisk to serve also as leading mark for shipping - at the base of which are commemorated 8,517 sailors of that war. (There are comparable WW1/2 memorials at both Plymouth and Portsmouth.)

The Chatham Naval Memorial
The Chatham Naval Memorial
Photograph with thanks to ww2cemeteries.com

As noted in the separate article, his widow, Muriel Leverington, joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and, like her husband (but for very different reasons), did not survive the War. This husband and wife are both commemorated on Christ Church's WW2 memorial.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEVERINGTON, Muriel. Leading Aircraftwoman (2022927)

The Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
Died 1 May 1945, aged 32

Muriel was born on 18 June 1913, the fifth (but fourth surviving) child of Charles William & Ellen Clegg (née Cash). The parents had married on 8 September 1903 in St James's Church, Grimsby. They set up home in nearby Cleethorpes where, now with three children from new-born Phyllis to 6 year old Albert, the early 30s couple were recorded in the 1911 Census living at 23 St Helier's Road. Charles's occupation is listed as a "Carpet Planner".

At some point, the family moved to Huddersfield, probably to 46 Fair Lea Road where the September 1939 Register records the 60 year old parents (with Charles still as a "Carpet Planner") together with a sixth child 24 year old Charles William junior, listed as a "Cabinet Maker".

Muriel was not there since, in Q4 1932 and registered in Huddersfield, this 19 year old had married sailor Ernest Leverington, ten years her senior. Sooner or later, they set up home in Ernest's home town of Epsom. The September 1939 Register records the 26 year old Muriel living alone (there is no record of the couple having any children) at 15 The Crescent, Epsom, listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

As noted in the separate article, her husband, Ernest Leverington was killed in action in May 1940. This husband and wife are both commemorated on Christ Church's WW2 memorial - with Muriel being the only woman among the 58 names there.

Disappointingly, the readily available records give no information about either when Muriel joined the WAAF or what part in the war effort - of the many potential and vital roles undertaken by WAAFs (which excluded aircrew duties) - she played as a Leading Aircraftwoman.

She died on 1 May 1945 at Horton Emergency Hospital, one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties. (The fact she was taken there suggests that her WW2 service was in south-east England.) However, her death was not the result of injuries, but a brain tumour. Muriel is buried in the Huddersfield (Lockwood) Cemetery, near her parents' home, in Grave F.292.

The Huddersfield (Lockwood) Cemetery
The Huddersfield (Lockwood) Cemetery, with the Lockwood viaduct behind
Photograph with thanks to Roger Gill, copyright acknowledged

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEWIN, Walter William

Stoker 1st Class C/K 61449, Royal Navy Submarines
Died 20 July 1941, aged 36

Walter was one of the seven children of James William Lewin (1876-1907) and his wife Beatrice Eleanor (nee Sutton, c.1876- 1928), who were married at Christ Church, Epsom on 3 November 1895. The full list of children is as follows.

NameBornDiedFurther information
William John12/9/18962/6/1942 at The Sewage Farm, EpsomLatterly of 2 Woodcote Side, Epsom
Eleanor Isabella2/3/18988/1898 (5 months)-
Ernest William27/4/18992/1910 (10 years)-
Beatrice Annie10/3/190122/11/1948 EpsomMarried Frederick William Hince 22/5/1926 Christ Church, Epsom
Clara23/6/19031958?Married Charles Albert Goodwin 1921
Walter William16/11/190420/7/1941See below
Albert13/6/1906?-

Broadly speaking, most of the extensive Lewin clan lived at Epsom Common in Isabella Cottages, Stamford Green; they ran Lewin's Laundry and many of them worked in the business. Walter followed in the family footsteps for a short while but in June 1923 he signed up for twelve years in the Royal Navy.

The Lewin family.
The Lewin family.
Left to right: Beatrice Annie, Walter William, Beatrice Eleanor, William John, Clara and Albert.
Image courtesy of Terry Friday

On 28 March 1932 at Christ Church Walter, then based at Southampton in the submarine service, married Emily Jane Ede (born 26 April 1909), daughter of John and Mary Ann Ede of Epsom Common. I am not aware of any children of the marriage and it seems that Walter and Emily maintained a home in Stamford Green. I am not sure if Walter left the Navy after his twelve years expired and then rejoined at the outbreak of war, but in any event he was part of the crew of the new HM Submarine Umpire (N82) when she left the builder's yard in July 1941.

HMS Umpire was a U-class submarine, one of 49 such boats built just before and during World War 2. They were small vessels and all but two of them, HMS Umpire and HMS Una, were built by Vickers-Armstrong. Umpire and Una were constructed at Chatham and were virtually identical, although Una was commissioned later than Umpire. There are few extant photos of Umpire, since she sank just a few days into her maiden voyage, but there are many of Una and the one below is particularly good in showing the scale of man to boat.

HMS Una at Malta, 1943.
HMS Una at Malta, 1943. Photo by Lt F G Roper.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 14467)

HMS Umpire was commissioned on 10 July 1941 and set sail from Chatham en route to Dunoon to join the 3rd Submarine Flotilla. The commander was Lt Mervyn Wingfield and the first lieutenant was Peter Bannister.

Lt Cdr Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC
Lt Cdr Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC,
photographed at Tricomalee in 1943, then commanding the T-class submarine HMS Taurus.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 21522)

The boat stopped overnight at Sheerness to wait for a merchant convoy, which then proceeded up the East coast escorted by motor launches and Admiralty trawlers. Just off Aldeburgh, Suffolk a Heinkel bomber attacked and Umpire dived successfully for the first time. That same night there was a problem with one of the two diesel engines and she had to stop (there were also two electric engines): the problem could not be fixed, however, and she had to slow down because the one working diesel engine had insufficient power to maintain the necessary speed. A motor launch dropped back as an escort and they proceeded at reduced speed.

Umpire was then involved in a near-miss with an approaching southbound convoy. It was dark and none of the ships were showing lights because of the likelihood of prowling E-boats. Nevertheless, visibility was reasonable, but crucially Umpire had lost contact with the motor launch. The rule at sea was that in a channel ships should keep to the starboard side, so they would pass oncoming ships port to port. For some reason the southbound convoy approached on the port side and extended across Umpire's starboard bow. It was too risky to alter course to starboard so Umpire steered slightly to port and a collision was avoided by a distance of approximately 200 yards. Unfortunately, the avoiding manoeuvre had put Umpire directly in the path of an oncoming escort trawler, the Peter Hendriks (later renamed Lord Rivers), which had not seen them. The trawler had right of way and ordinarily Umpire would have steered to starboard but could not do so because of the proximity of the southbound convoy. So Wingfield ordered hard-a-port, which should have averted disaster, but at the last moment the trawler spotted the submarine and turned to starboard. Wingfield's desperate order of full-astern came too late and the trawler rammed Umpire in the bow; she lurched and then sank in under 30 seconds. The next picture shows the trawler Paul Rykens, which was identical to the Peter Hendriks, in the background.

HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
Painting by Stephen Bone 1943.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 3125)

A graphic account of HMS Umpire's last moments appears in the book called 'One of Our Submarines' by Edward Preston Young, then a Lieutenant. Young was off duty aboard Umpire when it sank and in 1952 recorded his wartime career (he was awarded the DSO, DSC and Bar for subsequent exploits and was also the man who, before the War, had designed the striking original covers for Penguin paperbacks). Mervyn Wingfield was in the conning tower when the trawler struck, together with Tony Godden, the officer of the watch, and two lookouts. All four of them were flung into the water at the moment of impact. Wingfield, only semi-conscious, tried to keep Godden afloat but he then lost consciousness altogether and was picked up by another ship. Godden and the lookouts drowned.

Meanwhile a terrible drama was unfolding in the sinking submarine. Bannister ordered the watertight doors shut and then there was an almighty crash and an electrical explosion. Umpire lurched and plunged straight to the bottom. Water was pouring into the boat through the ventilation shaft and, if it reached the battery cells, lethal chlorine gas would be formed. Young said in his book that, with hindsight, he could and should have shut off the ventilation shaft, but the situation at the time was mayhem and everything was happening very fast. The boat was only 60-80 feet down and Bannister thought she might surface if they blew the ballast tanks, which they did, but nothing happened. The water still poured in and the electrics were spitting and flashing. Young said that there was no panic but they were all suffering from a kind of mental concussion. A plan was formed that four men, including Bannister and Young, would try to escape via the conning tower, whilst others could get out via the engine room hatch. For Bannister and Young it was a case of opening the hatch to the conning tower, taking one deep breath, with water pouring in, and launching themselves upwards. The two officers made it, together with one of their companions, and Young was subsequently picked up by a motor launch.

HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
Lt Edward Young RNVR,
pictured in command of HM Submarine P555 (formerly US Submarine S24), 1943.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 15863)

Other men, who had escaped via the engine room, eventually straggled to the surface but, by then, Bannister had disappeared. Reports vary as to the number of men on Umpire - 37 being a much-quoted number - and 22 of them died. Umpire, stripped of anything useful by an official salvage team, is still on the bottom, a protected site, lying in 18 metres of water off Sheringham Shoal, Norfolk, about 15 miles from shore and now within the site of the Sheringham Shoal wind farm (see their Summer 2012 newsletter for an image of the wreck). She had lasted a little over one week from commissioning.

Captain Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC, as he later was, had a very distinguished career in the Royal Navy and one of his many wartime achievements was the sinking of the Japanese submarine I-34, the first Japanese submarine to be sunk by a Royal Navy submarine (HMS Taurus). Walter Lewin is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial (Panel 47, 3.). His widow, Emily Jane, married Frederick G Scutt in 1951 and died in 1969.

Note: Although Walter's rank was Stoker 1st Class, there was obviously nothing to stoke on a diesel/electric powered submarine. Stokers on submarines operated and maintained equipment in the engine room under the supervision of Engine Room Artificers.

Linda Jackson, May 2016

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LEWIS, Cyril. Petty Officer Motor Mechanic (C/MX 71383)

HMS Saunders. Royal Navy
Died 14 December 1942, aged 22

Memorial to Cyril on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery
Memorial to Cyril on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph courtesy Clive Gilbert © 2018

Cyril was born in on 23 January 1920, the first of two children born to George Ernest Lewis and Mary Catherine (née O'Brien). The couple's Q4 1918 marriage was registered in Epsom, as was Cyril's birth and that (on 12 December 1921) of his brother, William Ernest.

The September 1939 Register records the family living at 30 Ebbisham Road, Epsom. In this: 42 year old George is listed as "Stableman Racing"; 41 year old Mary with "Home Duties"; 19 year old Cyril as "Fitter Motor Repair Works"; and 17 year old William as "Groundsman RAC Club".

Given George's pre-war occupation, it is no surprise to find that his WW2 naval service was as a Petty Officer Motor Mechanic. However, HMS Saunders - to which Cyril was formally attached in 1942 - was not a ship but the shore-based naval limb of the Middle East Combined Training Centre at Kabret, on Egypt's Little Bitter Lake, on the course of the Suez Canal. Its purpose was to train Naval personnel in the operation of landing craft and, together with the troops of many Allied nations, to practice amphibious landings prior to operations against the enemy in the Mediterranean.

A sketch of HMS Saunders from the base's water-tower
A sketch of HMS Saunders from the base's water-tower.
Courtesy of Henry More, grandson of Captain G I S More OBE RN -
who commanded HMS Saunders from June 1942 to December 1944,
and to whom the artist (Herbert Hastings McWilliams) presented it "with admiration".

Thanks to www.naval-history.net, we know that Cyril as killed by an explosion on a Tank Landing Craft Mk III. The fact he is buried in Tobruk, well into Libya and some 500 miles from the Kabret base, surely indicates that he was somehow involved in the Allies' pushing Axis forces westwards along the North African coast, after the turning point (in North Africa and the war as a whole) of the 23 October to 11 November 1942 second Battle of El Alamein - a turning point in the war as a whole.

Cyril is one of 2,272 Commonwealth WW2 casualties buried in the Tobruk War Cemetery. His parents took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave 1.F.2,
"Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him."
The Tobruk War Cemetery
The Tobruk War Cemetery
Photograph by Roger Morgan © 2009

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEWIS, Richard Granville. Flying Officer 67061

165 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 9 February 1943 Age 25

Richard is not listed in the Borough's Book of Remembrance but is remembered here because the Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records note that he was the son of the widowed Myfanwy Jacob Lewis, "of Ewell, Surrey." In fact, the family background is rather more complicated than that - as is the connection with the Borough.

Richard's birth was registered in the Wandsworth District Q1 1918. He was the only child of the late Pilot Officer Granville Vernon Loch Lewis of the Royal Flying Corps and Myfanwy (née Lewis). The parents had married in Islington Q3 1912 - both then aged 21.

That was Myfanwy's home patch. Her 31 August 1891 birth was registered in Islington, and the 1911 Census recorded her (a 20 year old "Engineer's Clerk") as the third of seven children living with their mid-50s parents (William - a "Builder's Foreman" - and Averina) at 25 Hemingford Road, Islington. Granville, however, was Australian - born in Melbourne. After their marriage, they set up home at 15 Aveling Park Road, Chingford.

Shortly after the outbreak of WW1, Granville enlisted as Sapper 979 in the 3rd London Field Company, Royal Engineers at Denham Camp. Still at Denham, on 8 March 1917, he transferred to the Cadet Wing of the Army's Royal Flying Corps (which became the free-standing Royal Air Force in April 1918) and was gazetted Flying Officer on 15 September 1917. He became an instructor at 28 Training Squadron stationed at Castle Bromwich on the outskirts of Birmingham.

On 5 October 1917, Granville was on a training flight with Second Lieutenant Cyril Thornton when the aircraft (an Avro 504, B3129) spun in off a turn and crashed. Cyril was killed outright and Granville died of his injuries later that day. Granville was buried in Grave RC.9.3 of the St Pancras and Islington Cemetery leaving a pregnant Myvanwy.

Richard, the subject of this article, was born in early 1918 with the birth being registered in the Wandsworth District. The widowed mother and child's next appearance in the readily available records is as passengers on the SS Highland Rover leaving London on 6 May 1920 bound for Rio de Janiero. Richard was 2 and Myfanwy 29.

Shortly after her arrival in Brazil, Myfanwy had got remarried, to former Londoner and WW1 soldier (Private 33633 in the Royal Fusiliers) Edward George McKanna (now an accountant). The couple returned to England from Brazil, via New York on, 2 July 1924 with young Richard, now aged 6, and his half-brother Reginald Edward Jacob McKanna. They were destined for 60 Freegrove Road, London N7 - but at least the parents later returned to Brazil. The McKanna family were still there during 1954 but had also established a UK address at Crilvermere, Lustrells Crescent, Saltdean Sussex. Edward McKanna was living there prior to his death at Brighton General Hospital on 1 January 1962 - and Myfanwy herself died at 54 Marine Drive, Brighton on 2 April 1973.

None of this explains the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's reported Ewell connection, but this could have been specific to young Richard and his residence locally with a relative (for schooling in the UK). A possible candidate here is Reginald McKanna (b. 15 November 1893) who died at 47 Sunny Bank, Epsom on 16 February 1972.

Anyway, Richard's WW2 service began with enlisting with the Royal Air Force at Uxbridge in September 1939. He was commissioned from Leading Aircraftman to Pilot Officer on 8 May 1941, gaining promotion to Flying Officer a year later. He became a pilot with 165 Squadron, part of Fighter Command that was equipped with the iconic Supermarine Spitfire. In late 1942 and early 1943, the Squadron was stationed at RAF Tangmere, near Chichester.

A Spitfire Mk. Vb
A Spitfire Mk. Vb
Photograph COL 188 from the Imperial War Museum Collections, Public Domain

On 9 February 1943, he (in Spitfire Mk.Vb, BM450) took off with Sergeant J H Curry (in Spitfire BM518), on a "Rhubarb operation" in the Yvetot area of the Seine-Maritime department just across the English Channel. (Such operations, usually undertaken by pairs of aircraft, were low-level ground attacks against "targets of opportunity" and normally undertaken with low cloud cover to reduce the risk of attack by enemy aircraft.)

Both aircraft failed to return. Sergeant Curry was reportedly shot down by JG26 fighters and then seems to have crashed into the Channel. His body was never recovered and he is remembered on the RAF's Runnymede Memorial. Richard crashed on land near the target area and was initially buried locally. On 1 October 1947, he was re-interred in Grave A.8 of the Grandcourt War Cemetery which is about 10 miles from the Channel coast about 20 miles east of Dieppe and holds 54 Commonwealth WW2 casualties gathered in from smaller or isolated cemeteries.

The Grandcourt War Cemetery
The Grandcourt War Cemetery
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Brian Bouchard & Roger Morgan © 2018

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LINCK, Frederick William Patrick J. Lieutenant (296240)

Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Died 2 February 1945, aged 22

Frederick is not listed in the Book of Remembrance, but is remembered here because the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that his widow, Lillias, was "of Ewell, Surrey". However, that address has yet to be established.

The Commission's records also note that Frederick was the "Son of Frederick William and Katharine Linck". There is a Forces Record which notes that Frederick junior was born in the Union Of South Africa, but further details of his 1922/23 birth have yet to be found.

At some point, the family came to the UK. The parents are found in the September 1939 Register living with the apparently unrelated Arthur (a "Poultry Farmer") and Mary Gallsworthy at Little Stream Farm, Cranbrook, Kent. Frederick William senior is listed as a "School Master" and Katharine as a "School Matron". (As to their employer, it is likely to be relevant that the next entry in the original Register is of those attending the "Dulwich College Prep School Camp".)

The 16/17 year old Frederick junior is not found in that 1939 Register, and is probably behind some currently closed record. However, in Q2 1943 and probably just aged 21, he married 22 year old Lillias Jean Humpleby, registered in the Wandsworth District. Her Q3 1921 birth was registered in the Lambeth District. In the 1939 Register, she is probably behind the currently closed record at 93 Glennie Road, Lambeth where the two named residents are her father 51 year old Arthur (a "Bank Documentary Credit Clerk") and 48 year old Lillias (née Etheridge: their Q3 1917 marriage was registered in Camberwell) - listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties", and after whom Lillias junior was obviously named.

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide little detail of Frederick junior's WW2 service. And care is needed to differentiate between this Lieutenant Frederick William Patrick J Linck and (who surely must be some relative) Major F W J Linck of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. A further complication is that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes, as an aside, that Frederick was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force. That may have been an episode in his army career, but it seems clear that he was with the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) stationed in NW India and battling against the Japanese forces seeking to advance from their occupation of Burma (modern day Myanmar).

The tide was turned decisively after the vicious mid-1944 Battles of Imphal and Kohima and, by early 1945 significant parts of Burma were back in Allied hands. The big prize would be the then capital of Burma, Rangoon (modern day Yangon). Frederick appears to have been with the Commonwealth forces on Akyab Island, some way northwest of Rangoon when, as reported in Casualty List No 1682, he "died" - implying death from all too prevalent illness and disease rather than action.

He was originally buried in the Akyab War Cemetery (near modern day Sittwe) and later re-interred in the Taukkyan War Cemetery on the outskirts of Yangon (formerly Rangoon). The widowed Lillias took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave 10.J.23,
"In proud and treasured memory".
The Taukkyan War Cemetery
The Taukkyan War Cemetery
Photograph (37702684) by "John W" via findagrave.com

There is no record of Frederick and Lillias having any children. In Q1 1952 and registered in the Lambeth District, Lillias got married again - to Kenneth Wright.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LLOYD-SMITH, Vivian Bernard. Sub-Lieutenant

HMS Southampton, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Died 11 January 1941, aged 23

Vivian was born Q2 1917, the first child of Harry Bernard Lloyd-Smith and Annie (née Barbour). His birth, like his parents' Q3 1916 marriage, was registered in the Lambeth District. The couple had a second child, Ronald, whose Q1 1926 birth was registered in the Brentford District.

(Tracing the family background here is complicated by the fact that transcribers - and perhaps even the family - have sometimes taken the surname as the plain and very common "Smith". For example, father Harry's surname is not double-barrelled in the Q2 1895 registration of his birth in the Strand District of London.)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that Vivian's parents were "of Stoneleigh, Surrey" The September 1939 Register records them at "Beverley", Wallingford Road, Henley. However, as that was the home of 44 year old Christina Broad who is listed as "Temporarily Receiving Paying Guests", this looks like a temporary arrangement. Harry's occupation is listed in the Register as "Foreign Touring Reception Manager, Automobile Association". Also recorded at that address was a Frederick Brant whose occupation is listed as "Chief Clerk Foreign Touring, Automobile Association". Both Harry's and Frederick's wives are listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

It seems certain that their address was 56 Rosedale Road, Stoneleigh. While the property was vacant at the time of the 1939 Register (although the transcription notes that it was a household of two people!), that is the address which Vivian was noted as being "of" in the May 1941 Probate record of administration of Vivian's £ 272 estate being awarded to his father.

However, we are getting ahead of ourselves. The Navy Lists give Vivian's seniority date as 25 August 1939, so it is unsurprising that he is not found in the late September 1939 Register. In Q4 1939, the 22 year old Vivian married 24 year old Elizabeth Esther Osborne. The marriage was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District, and the presumption is that the young couple set up home with Vivian's parents.

Vivian's WW2 service was aboard HMS Southampton, a member of the first group of five ships of the Town class of light cruisers. She was built on Clydebank in the mid 1930s and commissioned on 6 March 1937.

HMS Southampton on completion in 1937.
HMS Southampton on completion in 1937
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (HU 69048) - Public Domain

HMS Southampton's initial service was in home waters and off Norway, where she sustained some significant damage (not helped, as Admiral Cunningham later pointed out, by these ships' hangar-like superstructure which seemed "to provide a good point of aim"). After repair, she sailed for the Mediterranean and participated in the action off Cape Spartivento on 27 November 1940. In December, the cruiser was moved to the Red Sea to escort troop convoys and took part in the bombardment of Kismayu during the campaign in Italian East Africa.

By 1 January 1941, HMS Southampton was back in the Mediterranean to help escort supply convoys to Malta. This "Operation Excess" encountered the first presence of Luftwaffe anti-shipping aircraft in the Mediterranean. In the early afternoon of 11 January, south-east of Malta, both Southampton and fellow cruiser Gloucester came under attack from 12 Stuka dive bombers. Southampton was hit by at least two bombs and caught fire. The resulting blaze spread from stem to stern and trapped a number of men below decks. 81 men - including Vivian - were killed. Survivors of the complement of about 750 were by taken aboard by Gloucester and the destroyer Diamond. Heavily damaged and without power, HMS Southampton was then torpedoed and sunk by other British ships.

Vivian is one of the more than 10,000 Royal Navy WW2 personnel who have no known grave commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.

In their little more than a year together - for most of which Vivian will have been away at sea - there is no record of Vivian and Esther having any children. In Q1 1947 and registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District, the widowed Esther got remarried, to Victor Crawford. As Esther Crawford, she died in Q1 1985 registered in the Surrey SW District.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOOP, David Halstead. Warrant Officer/Pilot (658361). DFC

103 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died 18 October 1943, aged 25

David was born on 15 January 1919, the second child of John Halstead Loop and Dora (née Welch). The parents' Q4 1915 marriage was registered in the Hollingbourne District of Kent, where Dora had been brought up. They made their home in John's home patch of the Barnet area. This is where the 15 September 1916 birth of their first child, Barbara, was registered - as was David's birth in early 1919. The 11 September 1921 birth of their third and last child, Rosemary, was registered in the Staines District.

The family moved to "Whitethorn", 33 The Kingsway, Ewell, in time for David to enter Ewell Infants School. From 1 April 1927 to 29 August 1930, he was at Ewell Boys School from before going up to Epsom County (now Glyn) School - at which, as "a gifted reader", he was offered free place.

The September 1939 records the family still at 33 The Kingsway. 47 year old John is listed as an "Established Civil Servant (Executive Officer)" - perhaps still in the Post Office which he had joined as a Boy Clerk in 1908. 53 year old Dora is listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties"; 23 year old Barbara as a "Bank of England Clerk (established)"; and 18 year old Rosemary as a "Student (Commercial Secretarial)". Between Barbara and Rosemary is a currently closed record, doubtless concealing the 20 year old David.

David's WW2 service began in the Army but, with a Service Number 658361, he transferred to the Royal Air Force. Having reached the rank of Leading Aircraftman he was selected for flying duties and, on 22 January 1942, was sent for training in Albany in New York State under the "Arnold Scheme". He was a member of Arnold Squad C [42C], and would have been taught to fly the Stearman PT-17 in primary training before moving on to the Vultee B-13a.

The scheme to train RAF pilots in the USA was instigated by General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the United States Army Air Forces, and ran from June 1941 to March 1943. Its connection with Albany came from Darr Aero Tech and Turner Field being selected for, respectively, Primary and Advanced Training Schools as a Pilot U/T.

By 7 July 1943, David was back in England, assigned to 1662 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Blyton, near Gainsborough. On that date, aboard Lancaster ED 414, he took off at 10.15 to practice circuits and landings but, at 01.35, misunderstood an instruction and failed to stop in the length of the runway. Although the aircraft hit an obstruction and had to be written off, David and his crew survived the impact.

From 24 July 1943, David is found with 103 Squadron. He had another escape on 23 August 1943 after the Lancaster I W4323 he was to pilot had been fuelled and bombed up ready for that night's operation to Berlin. In the immediate pre-flight tests, a short circuit caused the small bomb containers to jettison their load of incendiaries which immediately started to burn underneath the aircraft. Eventually, the 4000 lb blockbuster on board went up causing a huge explosion and spreading wreckage over a wide area.

On the night of 18 October 1943, aircraft from 103 Squadron (based at RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire)were commissioned to be part of a massive force of 260 Lancasters sent to bomb Hanover. David's Lancaster was one of wighteen aircraft were lost on the raid.

David is one of the 2,407 WW2 Commonwealth casualties buried in the Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany. His parents took the option of adding a personal inscription (taken from Tennyson's poem "Crossing the bar") to his headstone on Grave 2.D.5,
"And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark."
The Hanover War Cemetery
The Hanover War Cemetery
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

There was a posthumous announcement in the London Gazette of 23 March 1944 that Acting Warrant Officer David Halstead LOOP (658361), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.103 Squadron, had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross with effect from 18 October 1943 - the day of his death.

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LOVELESS, Leslie Charles. Flight Sergeant/Pilot (1604264)

358 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 25 March 1945, aged 20

Leslie was born Q2 1924, the second child of Reginald Loveless and Nellie Louisa (née Johnson). The parents' Q2 1916 marriage had been registered in the Wandsworth District, as was the 19 November 1917 birth of their first child, Frederick. Leslie's 1924 birth was registered in the adjoining Lambeth District, as was the 16 June 1927 birth of their third and last child, Jack.

Reginald died on 7 June 1930. The Probate record of administration of his £ 965 estate being awarded to the widowed Nellie states that, while he had died at 46 Ouseley Road, Balham, he (and presumably his family) was "of 34 Besley Street, Streatham". By 1936, the widowed Nellie and her children were living with Albert William and Ellen Cooper at 125 Tamworth Lane, Mitcham.

By 1938, these people had moved to 65 Fairford Gardens, Worcester Park. Ellen Cooper's death came to be recorded in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District In Q2 1938. The September 1939 Register records the widowed 48 year old Nellie (listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") living there together with 22 year old Frederick (a "Carpenter & Joiner") and 12 year old schoolboy Jack. There is one currently closed record between Frederick and Jack, presumably of the 15 year old Leslie. The 48 year old Albert Cooper (a "Government Messenger, Air Ministry") is registered as a separate household at the same address. Nellie and Albert married in Q2 1941, registered the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.

Some time after September 1941, at Oxford, Leslie enlisted in the RAFVR. By 1945, he was serving as a pilot in 358 Squadron. This had been formed at RAF Kolar in south central India on 8 November 1944 as part of 231 Group. It was comprised primarily of personnel from the No. 1673 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF South East Asia Command which had recently been disbanded. Later that month B-24 Liberator bombers arrived for aircrew and ground staff training. The Consolidated Liberator was a 4-engined American heavy bomber, supplied under lend-lease. With their lightweight construction, and fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage, they had the long range necessary in the Far East, but were susceptible to damage.

A Consolidated B24 Liberator heavy bomber
A Consolidated B24 Liberator heavy bomber.
Public domain image via Wikimedia.

On 2 January 1945, the Squadron moved to the jungle airfield at RAF Digri (now in Pakistan) and, from there, flew its first and only bombing mission on 13 January when eight of its Liberator aircraft bombed Mandalay in Burma (modern-day Myanmar). After this "Mandalay Raid", the Squadron was assigned to Special Duties - dropping agents and supplies into enemy occupied territory. These involved long flights and probably accounts for a move from RAF Digri to RAF Jessore (in modern-day Bangladesh) on 10 February 1945.

On 25 March 1945, Leslie was the second pilot of Liberator KH397 which hit trees on take off and crashed, killing the nine on board and others on the ground. Operational records state: -
'Liberator VI. KH397 took off from base at 0530 hours but collided with trees at S. end of runway and crashed in flames in the native village of Bakkutia. The aircraft was a complete 'write off', Category E.O. Burnt total. All the crew were killed, and were interred in the European Cemetery, Jessore (Map Ref. 2311N 8911E) at 1800 hours the same day. Full service honours were accorded. The Station Chaplain, S/L. (Rev) John Scott, Conducted the ceremony. Personnel killed:

     1108628. W/O. W R Mills, Captain,
     1604264 F/Sgt. L C Loveless, 2nd Pilot,
     F/O. T. D. Taylor, A/B [Bomb aimer],
     R.93615 W/O. S E Hencher, Nav.,
     1623858 Sgt. C C Young, WOP/A,
     1795301 Sgt. G D T Rowe, WOP/A,
     1301823 F/Sgt. J F C Hawkins,A/G,
     1826585 Sgt. D S Potter, A/G,
     634691 Sgt. J L J Hulse, A/G.

The aircraft crashed in the midst of the village of Bakkutia and considerable civilian casualties and damage occurred. 8 civilians were killed and 10 injured and 10 horses and 7 cattle were destroyed in the resulting fire.'
The aircrew were subsequently reinterred among the 715 Commonwealth WW2 casualties in the Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh, where they lie together Plots 3G 5-12. Leslie's family took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave 3.G.8,
Never shall thy memory fade, sweet thoughts ever linger where thou art laid.
The Chittagong War Cemetery.
The Chittagong War Cemetery.
Photograph (145346274) by "Grave Concerns" via findagrave.com

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LOVELL, Stuart James. Flight Lieutenant (107258)

183 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 29 January 1944, aged 27

Stuart is not listed in the Book of Remembrance but is remembered here because the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's records note that his widow was "of Epsom, Surrey" but that address has yet to be established.

Stuart was born in Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) on 18 March 1916, son of tea-planter Stuart Lovell and his wife Clare ('Cherub') O'Neill of Portrush, Ireland. After his education at Ampleforth College, Stuart he also became a tea-planter in Ceylon.

He returned to the UK and enlisted in the RAF at Padgate during September 1939 with a Service Number 971581. The 23 year old Stuart is recorded in the late September 1939 Register as a resident of the widowed Charlotte Beal's Guest House at 25 North End Road, Hendon - where he is listed as "Enrolled in RAF (Awaiting Papers)".

From Sergeant, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer, 20 September 1940, rose to Flying Officer a year later and became Flight Lieutenant with effect from 20 September 1943.

On 21 September 1941, the 25 year old Stuart married 21 year old Alicia May Montagu (who had been born in Buenos Aires on 1 November 1919).

From 55 OTU, Stuart joined 263 Squadron on 16 December 1941. After 22 April 1943, he served with 51 OTU before returning to 263 Squadron. He was subsequently posted to 257 Squadron (converting to the Hawker Typhoon( and then saw service with 183 Squadron.

A Typhoon Mark IB of 183 Squadron
A Typhoon Mark IB of 183 Squadron
with Flight Lieutenant Walter Dring standing on the wing.
Image source © IWM (CH 9289)

On 29 January 1944, Stuart was piloting Typhoon MM970 on a low-level attack on the Guipavas airfield, a few miles to the east of Brest in Brittany. On his second pass over the airfield was he was shot down by flak, flew into the roof of a storage building and crashed on a dry fuel store. His attack resulted in serious injuries to a farmer's horse and put several holes in Plabannec water tower.

He was buried by the Germans with military honours in Grave 46.11.2 of the Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery which holds nearly 100 Commonwealth WW2 casualties (and nearly 30 from WW1).

Stuart's brother, Anthony Desmond Lovell also served in the RAF during WW2 and had an illustrious career. He rose to the rank of Wing Commander and was awarded DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar and DFC (American). After a wartime in harm's way, Anthony was killed at Old Sarum, Wiltshire on 17 August 1945 when he crashed whilst doing acrobatics in Spitfire Mk III EN234. He was buried in Portrush Cemetery, County Antrim, Northern Ireland with (presumably) his grandmother. The headstone on that grave is "In Loving Memory Of / Rebecca Clare O'Neill / Who Died 10th November 1935" and "Anthony Lovell / D.S.O. And Bar D.F.C. And Bar / American D.F.C. / Wing Commander R.A.F/ Aged 28 Years / 17th August 1945". Underneath their names is "Stuart Lovell Flt/Lieut. R.A.F. / Aged 27 Years / 29th January 1944 / Buried In Brest" and "Requiescant In Pace".

Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery / The family headstone
Left: part of the Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery,
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Right: the family headstone (on which Stuart is remembered) in Portrush Cemetery,
Photograph (178363488) by Ian Hedges via findagrave.com

There is no record of Stuart and Alicia having any children. While, as noted at the head of this article, a Borough address for the widowed Alicia has not yet been identified, her residence here is reflected in the fact that her Q3 1946 second marriage to John Dobney Andrew Johnson, PhD was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District. The couple subsequently went to live in Dorking.

Brian Bouchard & Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOVELOCK Henry James. Sergeant (PO/210573)

Royal Marines.
Died 6 August 1942, aged 57

William's headstone in Morden Cemetery
William's headstone in Morden Cemetery.
Photograph (53710710) by "Chris Doran" via findagrave.com

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Henry was born in London on 28 May 1885, the fourth and last child of Abraham Lovelock and Jane (née Bull) - his father (a "Pianoforte Maker") died aged 40 in Q4 1885. The 1891 Census records the widowed 33 year old Jane (a "Dressmaker") and three of her four children - Lillian (12), Abraham (8) and Henry (6) - living in Victoria Road, Islington.

By the time of the 1901 Census, Jane had moved to 35 Whistler Street, Islington. All four children were living at home, including the now 21 year old Elizabeth missing in 1891, and all in employment - in 16 year old Henry's case as a "Commercial Clerk". Jane no longer has an occupation shown, but would have been receiving income from three unrelated boarders.

On 10 September 1903, the 18 year old Henry enlisted in the Royal Marines, and served in their artillery division, rising to the rank of Sergeant. He was discharged to Pension on 29 June 1922.

In Q4 1915, the 30 year old Henry married 33 year old Eleanor Tumber. The marriage was registered in the Marylebone District and the Q3 1919 birth of their only child, Rita, was registered in the Portsmouth District.

The September 1939 Register records the now 57 year old Eleanor living at 53 Richlands Avenue, Stoneleigh, listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". The only other record at the address is currently closed, but seems likely to be that of the 19/20 year old Rita. Henry was not at home since he had rejoined the Royal Marines in 1937, having been working as a Clerk in a Tea Warehouse.

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no useful information about Henry's WW2 service. As he was now in his 50s, this is unlikely to have been in the front line. Indeed, his death on 6 August 1942 - the circumstances of which are not known - was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.

Henry is buried in Morden Cemetery. The widowed Eleanor took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave G.4.5591,
"Ever in our thoughts. His loving Wife and Daughter."
Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOWE, Bertram Harrington. Sergeant (658389)

Royal Air Force
Died 21 May 1943, aged 27

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Bertram was born on 16 December 1915, the second child of Bertram Lowe and Florence Mary (née Harrington) The parents' Q3 1913 marriage was registered in the West Ham District, as were the births of all their six children - from Mavis in Q2 1914 to Cynthia in Q4 1923.

At some point, the family moved to the Borough. The September 1939 Register records the parents and four of their children living at 47 Thorndon Gardens, Stoneleigh. 49 year old Bertram senior is listed as a "Solicitors Managing Clerk / Estate Agent" and 48 year old Florence with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". 23 year old Bertram junior as an "Estate Agent's Manager", presumably working with his father.

Bertram junior subsequently enlisted with the Royal Artillery and then transferred into the Royal Air Force. In mid-1943, he was at No.1 Torpedo Training Unit at RAF Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland.

On 21 May 1943, a night-time exercise to practise the laying of sea-mines was under way. For some reason, Hampden AT125 ditched in the sea. Two accompanying aircraft from 1TTU - Wellington Torpedo Bombers LB193, & LB237 - engaged in a search, flying low over the water with their lights on. It is presumed that the two Wellingtons collided, and they crashed into the sea three and half miles east-north-east of Ailsa Craig, Firth of Clyde. Only seven men were recovered alive from a total of eighteen aboard the three downed planes. The five "missing believed killed" from Wellington LB237 Bertram, as one of the Air Gunners, and the pilot, Flight Sergeant John Frederick Forsyth-Johnson (1383232), older brother of the late entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth.

As one of over 20,000 members of the RAF who were lost during WW2 operations and who have no known grave, Bertram is commemorated on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.

The RAF's Runneymede Memorial
The RAF's Runneymede Memorial
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Brian Bouchard & Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOWER, Vivian. Pilot Officer (143871)

224 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 2 September 1943, aged 31

Vivian was born on 6 May 1912 in Edmonton, the first child of Nynian Evelyn Walter Lower (a "Bank Official") and Edith (née Morley - they had married in Hackney Q2 1911). The couple had two more children: Gilbert, born on 19 July 1914; and Kathleen, born Q1 1920. Those births were registered in the Hackney District.

At some point, the family moved to 141 Manor Green Road, Epsom. That is where 53 year old Nynian (now a "Bank Manager") and one currently closed record (perhaps of 19 year old Kathleen) were recorded in the September 1939 Register - and where the 1944 Probate records describe the late Vivian as being "of".

However, the September 1939 Register records Vivian staying (or lodging) with the Mitchell family at 34 Queen's Drive, Stoke Newington and described as "Bankers Official Cashier Electrical".

(For completeness, it is not clear where Vivian's mother was at the time of the 1939 Register. Vivian's brother Gilbert had married Eveline M Read in Q3 1936, registered in the Barnet District, and the 1939 Register recorded this couple lodging with the Oglesbys at 8 Lansdowne Road, Finchley. Gilbert is listed as a "Clerk Stockbrokers" and Eveline with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". There is no record of Vivian having married, and his single status seems confirmed by the fact that administration of his £ 699 estate was, in 1944, allocated to his father.)

Vivian's WW2 service was in the RAF's Coastal Command. In 1942, he was in 119 Squadron based in Pembroke Dock. He had a narrow escape when the Short Sunderland flying boat DP176 on which he was the navigator had to ditch in the Bay of Biscay when the port outer propeller broke off - hitting the inner propeller which also came off. The pilot managed to ditch the aircraft but its port wing dug in and it sank in four minutes. Three of the crew were lost, but the remaining twelve (including the injured Vivian) made it into the dinghy. They were found the next day by an RAF Catalina which directed HMS Wensleydale to pick them up.

Vivian then transferred to 224 Squadron. This was stationed at RAF St Eval (on the north coast of Cornwall), and flew Consolidated B-24 Liberators in anti-submarine operations over the Bay of Biscay and attacks on shipping around the French Coast.

A Consolidated B24 Liberator heavy bomber.
A Consolidated B24 Liberator heavy bomber
Public domain image via Wikimedia.

On 2 September 1943, Vivian was part of the crew of Liberator FL938 GR-V on an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay when it was shot down by a Luftwaffe Ju 88S killing all nine on board.

As one of over 20,000 members of the RAF who were lost during WW2 operations and who have no known grave, Vivian is commemorated on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.

The RAF's Runneymede Memorial
The RAF's Runneymede Memorial
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Roger Morgan © 2018
With special thanks to Brian Bouchard

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LUDBROOK, William Frederick J. Lance Corporal (2560297)

29 Construction Section, Royal Corps of Signals
Died 27 September 1943, aged 38

William's headstone and the Chungkai War Cemetery
Left: William's headstone in the Chungkai War Cemetery
Photograph (18897754) by "GulfportBob" via findagrave.com
Right: The Chungkai War Cemetery
Photograph with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Frederick was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, the third of at least four children born to Frederick and Louise Ludbrook. His birth was registered Q3 1905 which, as noted at the head of this article made him aged 38 at his rather than the 39 noted in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records. The 1911 Census records the 33 year old parents and four children (aged between 4 and 8) living at 18 South Road, Reigate. Frederick's occupation is listed as "Chauffeur".

In Q2 1927, William married Susan Unity Fifield. They had two children - James born in Q4 1928 and Unity in Q3 1931 - whose births, like their parents' marriage, were registered in the Wandsworth District.

The family subsequently moved to the Borough. The September 1939 Register records the 37 year old Susan (listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") living at 27 Pams Way, Ewell together with her two children and her widowed 58 year old father, Arthur S Fifield (a "House Painter & Decorator").

William was presumably already in uniform, serving with the 29 Construction Section, Royal Corps of Signals. This Company was in Malaya when the Japanese invaded from the north on 8 December 1941. Commonwealth forces had not yet completed their defences and the ferocious attack drove them back, in some disarray, towards Singapore. This fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, with the surrender of some 80,000 Commonwealth troops. They became prisoners of war, joining the 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the preceding Malayan Campaign. Winston Churchill called the whole episode the "worst disaster" in British military history.

Somewhere along the way, William was noted as "missing in action". It was later confirmed that he was a prisoner of war in Siam (modern-day Thailand). He, like many others, was doubtless used as forced labour on the notorious Burma-Siam railway and weakened by the very harsh conditions. However, the direct cause of his death, on 27 September 1943 at the Malai 1 PoW Camp, is recorded as "Ludwig's angina". This is a rapidly progressive gangrenous cellulitis of the soft tissues of the neck and floor of the mouth consequent on an untreated serious oral infection - normally a dental abscess.

He was initially buried locally. After the War, his and many other scattered burials were concentrated in the Chungkai War Cemetery, located outside the town of Kanchanaburi, some 80 miles north-west of Bangkok, at the point where the river Kwai divides into two separate rivers. The Cemetery holds 1,692 Commonwealth WW2 casualties.

The widowed Susan took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave 2.L.1,
"For ever in our memory".
Roger Morgan © 2018

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